U17 World Cup: Eaglets Fight Back Against Sweeden in 6-goal ThrillerSports Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Nigeria thrice came back from behind to hold Sweden to a thrilling 3-3 draw in an U17 World Cup game on Tuesday.
Nigeria thus lead Group F with four points from two games, same as Sweden but are ahead on +5 goals difference as against second-placed Sweden who have +3 goal difference.
Mexico are third after they beat Iraq 3-1 in the other group game.
The game was keenly contested in the first half, with Nigeria’s Chidera Eze having the first shot at goal which went off target.
Abdulahi Alfa dictated the pace in the midfield, combining well with Akinjide Idowu
However, Valmin Berisha gave Sweden the lead in the 11th minute, when he jabbed in Rakip header after Dele Alampasu went off his line and fumbled an aerial ball.
Nigeria went close instantly with left back Samuel Okon’s long-range effort in the 12th minute deflected for a corner kick.
Berisha completed a brace in the 19th minute with a header after he was set up from the left flank.
Three minutes later, Isaac Success scored with a superb volley when he connected Kelechi Iheanacho’s long pass into the box.
Alampasu in goal for Nigeria made a save in the 31st minute to deny Sweden another goal.
Success was forced to leave the pitch in the 32nd minute for what looks like an hamstring injury and was replaced by Taiwo Awoniyi.
Okon almost made it 2-2 for Nigeria when his 30-yard chip was tipped over the bar for a corner kick.
Yahaya Musa equalised for Nigeria with a hopeful 25-yard shot which was fumbled by the Sweden goalkeeper to take the tally to 2-2 in the 48th minute.
First-half substitute Halvandzic then restored Sweden lead in the 65th minute when he tapped in from close range.
Sweden keeper make a double save in the 71st minute from the efforts of Yahaya Musa and Taiwo Awoniyi.
However, never-say-die Eaglets almost equalised when Awoniyi shot directly to the waiting hand of the goalkeeper in the 80th minute.
Awoniyi make amend with a glancing header a minute later off Iheanacho’s cross to make it 3-3.
Nigeria mounted pressure to get the winner towards the end of the game, but met a resolute Sweden defence.
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